WASHINGTON: U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to tap the nation’s emergency oil stockpiles marks the first time in two decades that a president has used the reserve to tame energy prices instead of tackle a supply disruption.

The release also marks the first coordinated release with consuming nations outside the auspices of the West’s energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency.

Biden announced on Tuesday the United States will release 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in coordination with stockpile releases from China, India, South Korea, Japan and Britain, to try to cool prices that have reached seven-year highs.

That could create a precedent that might be hard for the president and his successors to live up to when oil prices rise to a level that major importers find uncomfortable.

“The danger is that future administrations use this allegedly managed drawdown as precedent for future price-controlling releases,” said Tristan Abbey, president of consultancy Comarus Analytics, who worked on energy in the White House during the Trump administration and under Senator Lisa Murkowski.- Reuters



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